Redskins linebacker Martrell Spaight was not on the field for the portion of practice that the media could see. The rookie was out on Wednesday because he is under the NFL’s concussion protocol, according to coach Jay Gruden.
While we will wait for Gruden to speak on the injury definitively after practice, it’s looking more and more like Spaight will be inactive for Sunday’s game against the Rams. The concussion protocol calls for players diagnosed with a concussion to be worked back onto the field over the course of a few days. This may not leave enough time for Spaight to be cleared.
This could leave the Redskins in a sticky situation on special teams. Although he’s a rookie he is still a key contributor on special teams, playing nine snaps there last Sunday against the Dolphins. The kicking units are going to need to be at full strength on Sunday. The Rams’ punt returner is Tavon Austin, already has a 75-yarder for a TD on his ledger this year and he took one to the house in FedEx Field last December.
If Spaight can’t go, the Redskins could shuffle their roster like they did last week when they had a linebacker injured. Jackson Jeffcoat was out with a thigh injury so a day before the game the Redskins promoted Houston Bates to the roster from the practice squad. They cut defensive lineman Frank Kearse to make room for him. Earlier this week they reversed the transaction, putting Bates back on the practice squad and re-signing Kearse to the 53.
If Spaight is out on Sunday, look for a similar move with either Bates or perhaps Terrance Plummer getting moved up. Stay tuned.
Update: Jay Gruden confirmed that Spaight did miss practice. He also said that if he can't go the team would activate a inside linebacker. That likely means that Plummer will get the nod if Spaight is not cleared to play.